Southwest Airlines announced Monday it will fly only about one-third of scheduled flights over the next several days as winter weather continues to wreak havoc on holiday travel across the U.S.
The volume of cancellations prompted the U.S. Department of Transportation to say it is looking into whether Southwest could have done more to prevent them.
"USDOT is concerned by Southwest’s unacceptable rate of cancellations and delays & reports of lack of prompt customer service," the department tweeted on Monday.
Southwest did not immediately return requests for comment; however, a message on its site reads, "With consecutive days of extreme winter weather across our network behind us, continuing challenges are impacting our Customers and Employees in a significant way that is unacceptable. And our heartfelt apologies for this are just beginning."
The hashtag #southwest was trending on Twitter Monday evening, with grim travel tales out of both San Francisco International and Oakland International airports detailing general chaos as long lines, missing baggage and distressed travelers ruled the day.
Absolute chaos at #SFO because of @SouthwestAir. Been here since 5:30AM and they had us wait 8 hours until they cancelled our flight. Feeling bad for the SW attendants who are trying to rebook and help HUNDREDS of people who are missing families for the holiday. #southwest pic.twitter.com/7yPaciXEX7— Maria Wiles (@mkatwiles) December 26, 2022
Complete shutdown of Oakland Airport. Almost every single southwest flight was canceled (waited 7hrs), the baggage claims was a complete disaster. Bags everywhere. Wall to Wall bags with most employees saying "go look for it".@nbcbayarea @SouthwestAir @KTVU pic.twitter.com/0Yg2BdIe5S— Jabir Tarin (@JABIRtarin) December 26, 2022
The Standard Staff can be reached at [email protected]